Mini-Vacation Recap

Last weekend was Bastille Day, as in France's Independence Day. While we have stayed in France the past two years (here and here) since this year it fell on a Thursday we were "forced" to take off Friday and make it a 4 day weekend. It's rough I know.

The only problem with taking the pont*, as the French call it, is that no matter where we went in France it was sure to be crowded.  Wanting a stress-free mini-vacation we decided to head south, to Italy to be exact the sea-side town of Genova.

My brother in law Matteo made it simple and told us exactly what we needed to do to maximize our four days:  Aquarium (second largest in Europe), Portofino (nearby town) and of course eat authentic pesto from Genova.  Simple enough.

By early Thursday morning we were crossing the Alps into Italy.  By early Thursday afternoon we were eating gnocchi and checking into our (ridiculously inexpensive) five star hotel then we headed out on our fist adventure: The Genova Aquarium.

This being Nathan's first time in an aquarium I was filled with excitement as to what his reaction would be!  He loved the big tanks with the large animals, especially the sharks and he could have cared less about the tiny tropical fish.

We were all pretty beat after walking like seemed miles and needed something to "perk" up our spirits.  Enter dinner filled with bruschetta, pizza and pasta!  Have I told you how much I love Italy?

Day 2 promised more excitement:  La Citta dei Bambini.

Part of the Aquarium this is an interactive Children's Museum and the perfect place to turn loose a rambunctious 2 year old!  In spite of everything being in Italian; Nathan was squealing in delight!

After a quick gelatto stop, we continued our trek and tour of downtown Genova.  Including the home of Christopher Columbus and the obligatory Duomo.

Matteo told us that the basil in Genova is supposed to be the best in Italy and therefore the Pesto in this region is supposedly the best.  We definitely didn't hear an argument from Nathan.

After such a heavy dinner, we decided to have some fun on the pirate ship playground they had at the hotel.  Seriously - best hotel ever.

Day 3 we headed out to Portofino.  This port town is super cute and I mean super cute!  It is also super small, so 1/2 a day was the perfect amount of time.  We toured the port, ate some gelatto played in the water {some had more fun than others} and ate some more pasta.  Late afternoon we headed back down to Genova to try and get in some relax time at the hotel.

We headed to the roof top terrace which had 2 hot tubs and enjoyed the view and the warm water.  Nathan had a great time splashing around, which goes to show it doesn't take much to make this kid happy.

We also decided to have dinner in the rooftop restaurant - delicious.  Nathan even tried Cornel's black pasta (as in squid ink pasta) and loved it!  A boy after my own heart!

Day 4 - Back to France.  We decided however to take a small detour through Monte Carlo for 2 reasons.  1) I've never been and 2) I have a slight obsession with Princess Grace.  It was a cloudy day but we enjoyed a nice lunch near the Casino enjoying the beautiful view.  They still had all of the marriage flags and decorations from the Royal wedding a few weeks back.

We arrived back in France late on Sunday, and have spent the rest of the week recovering from our pasta induced coma's.  Now just counting the time until we get to go back!

*pont - bridge in French.  The term used when a holiday falls near a weekend and extra days are taken to bridge the holiday to the weekend.
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Quiana said...

What a cosmopolitan lil man! LOL! Love him =)

Liz said...

I love the photo of him peeking through the bars!

The first time I ever had gnocchi was in Italy!

Oooh, the memories!

mom2kiddos said...

Aw what a lovely time y'all had! I miss Italy - my hubby and I honeymooned there. WOuld love to go back there one day. That picture of your little guy in the observation tank is so cute!

Cassi said...

What a fun trip! We passed by Genova and Portofino to hit up Cinque Terre to the East and Monaco to the West on our recent trip, but next time I definitely want to go there now!

I'm still so green with envy that you get to live in France!!!

Sonya said...

When I was in England 5 years ago during July I considered going to Paris for Bastille Day because it happens to be my birthday! However, I figured it would be a bit overwhelming for this first time visitor!

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh I'm so jealous! I love(d) Italy and would love to go back! It's a bit further for us than for you, though! Maybe one day I'll get to return...I did throw a coin in Trevi Fountain, after all!

Shell said...

Wow, that looks like such a fun trip!

Kim said...

Every time I read one of your posts/look at your pictures, I'm hungry and envious. That pizza looks heavenly.

Moomser said...

Just took the kiddos to the aquarium today, how funny to see your pics! Which hotel did you stay at in Genova?

Jessica said...

Looks like Nathan had a great time on vacation. Loved the first couple pictures of him discovering everything.

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